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Re: [permaculture] Re: Permaculture: old and new paradigms
> Let's look at this in terms of paradigms . We could contrast the
>with the "new"one ( of course there are many different paradigms, but I am
>polarity here to exemplify my argument in relationship to PC courses).
>Old paradigm: hierarchies, top down flow of information, emphasis only on the
>concrete mind ( not intuition), linear, fragmented, competetive ,
>that and nothing more).
Since paradigm is new speak for pattern I prefer to use the old word since
it carrys the same meaning in a more familiar form. I have to admit I have
real difficulties with the two opposing either/or ways of looking at
information exchange. I am certainly willing to be educated but so far the
language of explication of "new" versus "old" patterns is not clear to me.
Any references where this concept is clearly laid out?
It seems that some folks have deep insights and develop those ideas into
functional application I think this was the case with Mollison and Holmgrin
when they developed the concept of permaculture. This was the result of a
lifetime of observation, in the case of Bill Mollison, and of collaborative
exploration with his students at the University of Tasmania, one of which,
if I remember right was David Holmgrin. They then thought that they had
something worth sharing and wrote Permaculture One. Is this then
hierachical. I mean the book that is used in all of the pc courses that I
know is "Permaculture a Designer's Manual", is the book "top down" or is
just the author "top down" when he teaches the information in the book. And
why must it be "top" down rather than "to and from", isn't it possible that
some people do in fact have more information than others, and that just by
sharing that information with others they enrich our lives? It doesn't mean
they are better people just because they know more about a specific subject
but they for valuable for having that information and sharing it.
The other adjectives also are troubling "concrete mind (not intuitive), linear,
fragmented, competitive, crystallized (only that and nothing more)". What
does this mean? I understand that all of these descritive words are
directed at the current teaching of permaculture and that they are "bad" but
I don't believe that they accurately portray what I have experienced as a
teacher ("bad") of permaculture or the experience that "most" students
("bad") of permaculture express in their course comments. Further the
experience of the first four days of a pc course are fraught with the
intuitive and without some intuitive ability I fear that the section on
pattern would approximate gibberish. Is linear always "bad" or can it be a
tool to enhance understanding. This isn't to say that Euclidian gridworks
describe the human and natural experience but that grids are useful tools.
Fragmented?, the curriculum of pc is one of the most holistic descriptions
of the total function of Gaia as any course I know - it of necessity,
because of the limited time (two weeks), like skipping a rock over the pond
of total knowledge, but where the rock hits the water there is critical
interlocking information. Most people I know in pc are very cooperative,
and it is certainly taught in the course that nature is cooperative not
(only that and nothing more) I suppose is some sort of devastating dismissal
of the the whole system of pc teaching.
>New paradigm: circular ( teacher is focalizer for flux of informations and
>from all participants ), systemic ( not linear), accepts information from
>intellectual sources, evolutive ( not crystallized), cooperative, integrated.
>It is clear that Permaculture as a body of knowledge and way of approaching
>is new paradigm
I find all of the above "good" characteristics very much a part of a "good"
pc design course. I am heartened that permaculture is "new paradigm",
because that means it is good right?
>Unfortunately, we are still struggling to find new paradigm forms of teaching
>it...Unfortunately the "traditional" PC course is old paradigm, and thus
>complaints of the low "multiplying factor".
I don't agree with the "constancy" of complaints, their are complaints and
complainers but for the most part the complaint is that we have too much to
do in a very short period of time and we are multiplying at a slower rate
than is needed if we are to have a profound impact on the destructive
behaviour of a corporate/industrial greed run amok.
>In the new paradigm, just transmitting
>information is not enough. That can be most efficiently done on Internet
and in the
>books, as is being pointed out here...
> But for moving into a new approach to life and Nature, we need to help
>out of a linear, frgmented, competitve ( and fear-based) way of seeing
>solutions to living to an integrated systemic one. For this people have to
>contact with people. And what we are stuggling with here, basically, is
how to give
>people access to people in an affordable way. As there "are no free
>people who are offering their time and energy to help others transform
their lives (
>the "teachers"in the old paradigm language), must somehow be supported.
>have successful systems, as has been suggested, which gives them
>or they work also at other income-generating activities, or they accept
>those they are helping to move into a new set of strategies ( the
"students" in the
>old paradigm language). The crunch here is there is a schism between what these
>"helpers"need, to be supported, is often beyond what the "those being
helped" are able
>or willing to pay, and the infrastructure being offered, so that these two
>together, is too expensive for many people...
> So I would like to repeat, as I said in the first post that re-opened this
>Pandora's Box -- please remember that I in no moment implied that PC
>not be paid, nor that this was unethical!--that what is lacking is some
>mechanism where people can get together with people in affordable ways to
>teach each other. I would like to agree with Eric that we need to use the PC
>principles for our own lives, not only individually, but collectively...We
>be succesful trying to teach the new paradigm with old paradigm forms...
In the sense that all courses are a "gathering" of like concerned people we
are accomplishing this getting together notion. How do we expand that
gathering from tens and twenties to hundreds or thousands is that the "new
paradigm" solution? I sense that their is something lurking behind this
whole conversation about teaching and students and "old and new paradigm"
but I still don't hear any positive solutions from those decrying what is in
Perhaps there is a need to provide pc to everyone for free or more
affordable and that in that provision it must maintain its ethics and
integrity. Once we all agree on this as a beginning what next? Do we write
thousands of letters to Ted Turner insisting that he provide air time for
the pc design course, I'm serious - is this old paradigm?
Do we have a pc woodstock?
What I'm saying is that every time this conversation comes around it is the
same old complaint without any substantive recommendations. I would like to
see the substantive recommendations, a map (linear) of what this new
paradigm looks like. It is not productive or reasonable to say that pc
teaching should be radically different unless those who insist on it being
new paradigm/not old paradigm provide some thoughtful and reasonable
direction on how to get there - then we would have something to talk about.
I apologize in advance if I am throwing rhetorical spears but this is a very
frustrating subject when no-one, to my mind is offering solutions along with
the criticisms. My solution is "if it's not broke don't fix it", I
personally don't believe it's broke - for those of you who think it is
seriously flawed or is junkyard bound propose something!!!!
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